The National Secular Society has published a report, Separating Church and State: The Case for Disestablishment. Continue reading
Brexit (inevitably), school dress codes, clergy employment, humanist marriage, religious karaoke – another mixed bag…
On Monday, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was given its second reading: Ayes, 326: Noes: 290. The Bill stands committed to a Committee of the whole House for eight days of detailed debate.
The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government both declined to recommend that legislative consent be given to the Bill by their legislatures unless it is amended to address their specific concerns.
Primary school uniform
Also on Monday, we reported the case of a husband and wife who had withdrawn their six-year-old son from his Church of England primary school after a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress to school. Continue reading
End of “silly season” brings news from around the UK, and a new motu proprio
Hijabs in primary schools
There were various reports (eg in The Sunday Times and the Evening Standard) that “Children as young as three are being allowed to wear the hijab in British nurseries and primary schools.” The ST reported that its survey found that a fifth of 800 primary schools, including Church of England schools, list the hijab as part of their uniform. “Campaigners” objected, Continue reading
A quiet week, apart from…
… not the Great Repeal Bill
In Public Law for Everyone, Professor Mark Elliott’s post looks in some detail (albeit preliminarily) at how the EU (Withdrawal) Bill works, and comments on some of the key constitutional issues that it raises, here. As a taster (for both Brexiteers and Remainers), he concludes: Continue reading
“Egg-bound” thinking by Church and State this week…
… but un oeuf is un oeuf, and so no more egg-related puns. However, we certainly didn’t expect the CofE Easter story statement to be about the “Trinity of Chocolate” (Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry). It was left to Dr Michael Sadgrove, Dean Emeritus of Durham, to inject a degree of sanity into the Church’s position in his comments to the Church Times.
Gratefully accepting a gift-horse of a metaphor, the BHA described it as a storm in an eggcup; it was a gift to the cartoonists and bloggers, while Quakers might shed a silent tear for three businesses founded by Friends. Meanwhile, the willingness of Theresa May to wade into this media-generated nonsense emphasized her lack of action on weightier matters. David Tollerton, of Exeter University, suggests that the whole affair is redolent of “dog-whistle politics”: an undercooked mess that feeds English nationalism, while Esther McConnell, a direct descendant of John Cadbury, pointed out in a tweet that, as a Quaker, he didn’t celebrate Easter anyway.
A busy week in the courts Continue reading
Under German law, the Roman Catholic Church (with about 23.7 million members) and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD, with about 22.2 million members) have the status of public-law entities and are entitled to levy a church tax and/or fee – Kirchensteuer – on their members. (There are similar arrangements in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and some cantons of Switzerland.) The status of Churches and religious societies is governed mainly by Articles 137 to 141 (the “Church Articles” – Kirchenartikel) of the Weimar Constitution of 11 August 1919 as incorporated into the Basic Law by Article 140.
Historically, the church tax has been 8 or 9 percent of income tax liability and the only way to avoid it is formally to leave your Church: Kirchenaustritt. Continue reading
Brexit rumbles on, but perhaps the most important event of the week was the outcome of the Northern Ireland Assembly Election – on which we would not presume to comment…
Son (or more accurately daughter) of Miller?
Gina Miller, who mounted the successful challenge in the Supreme Court to the Prime Minister’s proposal to trigger Article 50 TEU by using the Royal Prerogative, has said that she is looking at launching a new challenge if Parliament is not given a vote on the final terms of Brexit. Speaking to Bloomberg, Ms Miller explained: Continue reading